I logged onto KDP last week and noticed that Amazon had added the option to (relatively) painlessly offer existing Kindle eBooks as paperbacks. The program is still in beta stage and currently doesn’t offer the ability to receive proof copies, order wholesale (author) copies, or allow you to make the paperback available on non-Amazon websites, but they say that is coming.
I wasn’t necessarily going to make the conversion at first, particularly as my book, One Lousy Pirate, is only 62 manuscript pages and tucked away inside a hidden compartment of a niche on Amazon’s site. But, as with everything I have done with OLP thus far, this was yet another opportunity to learn. So I spent an afternoon converting the files and mulling over pricing.
One Lousy Pirate is now available as a 108-page paperback for $4.99 and as an eBook at $1.99. And, as always, if you’re so kind to buy a copy, please do consider leaving an honest review, it really helps.
Amazon uses their CreateSpace publishing platform to ready your paperback conversion and, thankfully, their cover builder utility takes the guesswork out of determining the cover dimensions. It’s not enough to choose a book dimension — 6″x9″ is common — but page count and paper thickness must be accounted for in determining the width of the spine. Their sophisticated proofing system alerts you within minutes about problems you might have regarding resolution, dimensions, and font choice.
Let this be a reminder to always keep your original .eps, .ai, or .psd cover files! I did, thus making it relatively easy to change the dimensions from a 72dpi eBook cover to a 320dpi paperback cover. I had to shift the text a little to account for bleed and cropping, but this was all easy.
One thing that CreateSpace doesn’t do is transpose your eBook text document into the new layout. This must be done on your end, manually. I recommend using Word. It took numerous iterations to ensure the right margins and gutter, correct addition of blank pages, and the proper placement of the page numbering, and to ensure that scene breaks all lined up properly. No matter how many times you think you got it right, you’ll always notice another page to fix. Take your time, enjoy the process. Amazon had the paperback for sale within 12 hours and, within 48 hours, all of my existing reviews were carried over and the two separate formats merged into a single listing. Easy-peasy.
So that’s one book. It also brings me great happiness to get all Proud Big Brother for a moment and tell you about the journal my sister Jessica has created. Her book, Questions for Life: Two Year Guided Daily Journal for Intentional Living (which I was proud to copy-edit), prompts you with four prompts for every day of the year, with space on each page for two years worth of entries. Not only does this make it convenient to reflect upon your shifts from one year to the next, but it also keeps you from having to buy a new journal every year! The daily questions include three repeating prompts to build a habit of daily reflection and a fourth question unique for each day.
Questions for Life: Two Year Guided Daily Journal for Intentional Living is available as a 382-page 8×10″ soft-cover for $18.99. You can read more about the book at her blog and even get November’s entries as a free download.
- The Rose Main Reading Room Reopens – My only trips to the New York Public Library, of Ghostbusters fame, took place while the reading room was closed for renovation after some of the decorative ceiling had fallen (fortunately, at night). It’s a beautiful room as the photos and videos on this page show. The time-lapse of the books being re-shelved is particularly well done.
- What Makes Bad Writing Bad? – I really enjoyed Toby Litt’s article on why bad writing exists, why it’s defended by the author, and why I will not enlist those who love me to be beta-readers. Nobody wants to write poorly, but not everyone wants to do what it takes to write well. Worth reading for the magic trick comparison.
- The Strange Life of Punctuation – Did you know that people perceive text messages with periods as less sincere? I didn’t But if you ever wondered about the effects the Internet and texting has had (or will have) on punctuation, then this article by Chi Luu is for you. While this may sound dry as chalk dust, it’s a pretty interesting read. Why won’t you check it out ?!??!
- 7 Things That Will Doom Your Novel – Another NaNoWriMo is upon us and while many strain to get their 50,000 words done, I’ve watched my own wordcount slow to a trickle as the puppy continues to require near-constant attention. James Scott Bell’s article has a number of great tips on how to avoid the traps set before us.
- Amazon KDP Select Ads Guide – The author of this very helpful marketing piece, Tyrel, reached out to me and asked if I wouldn’t mind testing his guide. I did with tepid results. Though i suspect my less-than-stellar results was because of the nature of my product (perhaps the cover art, as well). Nevertheless, the ads did yield a profit. And maybe more than I realize as books downloaded for free by Prime members aren’t counted as a sale, despite paying the author per-page-read. If you’ve got a book on Amazon, I highly recommend following Tyrel’s tips for creating a Sponsored Products ad. Give it a month, set up a $3 max daily spend and a $0.06 max bid and see what happens. Many of my bids went for just $0.02. And, as Tyrel says, this is certainly far easier to scale for those with higher priced items. My $1.99 eBook left little profit margin as very few clicks turned into sales. I’m going to try again with new ad copy for the paperback and see what happens.
51-Year-Old Credits Mountain Biking for His Sub-17:00 5k – A guy who ran in college, took his 30s off to focus on mountain biking, and then got back into running at age 40. And is now winning national master’s races. That sounds so familiar to me (except the last part). Will have to think about this some more. For now, enjoy the inspiration and have a great week.